New revenue source -- CTA station naming rights?

With the RTA board poised today to cut $35 million from CTA’s budget, now’s a great time for ideas on generating non-fare revenues.

So, look no further than New York City, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved a $4 million deal to sell naming rights for the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street subway station in Brooklyn. And soon it will adding Barclays to the name, after the London-based bank. It’s the second busiest subway station in Brooklyn, serving more than 10 million passengers annually.

How about we suggest some naming ideas for our friends at the CTA. Here’s a start; add yours in comments:

  • Belmont LifeLube station.
  • 18th Street Blick station.
  • Clark/Division Viagra stop.
  • Diversey Starbucks stop.
  • Addison Axe station.

On a serious note, this idea does have potential. But we may need to expand the scale to include the entire rail line to get revenue close to the $4 million the MTA got for just one station. Also, any ideas on bus routes?


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  • Howard Apartments Station in honor of the Howard Station Apartments

  • Including some I have proposed elsewhere:
    81 KimChee
    24 WonTon
    11 Sauerkraut
    22 Nuts on Clark
    80 Psychotics on Irving Park
    56A Superdawg (wait, there was a trademark dispute over that yesterday)
    97 Old Orchard (wait, it's already called that northbound)
    77 Sticky Buns
    93 N. Ahnold
    94 S. Ahnold
    44 Moo 'n Oink
    63rd Street El Rukhn L
    Bleeping Golden station at Eastwood and Sacramento
    Supermercado Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Cinco... on the NW Blue Line and far end of the Pink Line.
    87th Street Harold's Chicken Shack #53 Station
    51st Street Olympic Stadium on the Green Line by Sominex (in your dreams)
    Isabella Bob Hartley nonexistent station, sponsored by Elliot Carlin Real Estate

    And, of course,
    47th Street Jake and Elwood El, sponsored by Ray's Music Exchange.
    BTW, I remember the days when the various Muhammad Speaks enterprises on 79th bought up all the interior advertising on south side buses. I didn't feel like visiting their Whiting Wearhouse (whether named after the fish, city, or refinery).

  • $4 million out of $35 million is hardly anything. If we could get $4 million for every station go for it. Otherwise it's not worth the hassle of changing all the signage.

    Save more on fuel by getting more hybrids should save more money. When our fuel hedges run out, we should start doing better (When is this anyway?). Start an advertising campaign along highways where people sit in bad traffic. Eliminate some bus stops to increase efficiency. Implement increased prices during rush hour for those paying cash on buses.

    There's lots of ideas that can be implemented.

  • Obviously, it should be the UPS Brown Line.

  • Ad rap the entire rail and bus fleet with one ad campaign. A clever company could have a lot of fun with this. Also, it'd be completely obnoxious and hopefully annoy local and state officials enough that they get funding for public transit at the top of their lists.

  • Why change the signs?
    Have WLUP or Sammy Haggar sponsor the Montrose station.

  • When our fuel hedges run out, we should start doing better

    Although I replied to your request for evidence in the other thread, you seem to now acknowledge the existence of that problem.

  • First of all, how about repealing the service additions that the Board approved just a couple weeks ago? In this environment, how ridiculous was that? And where is Ms. Brown this week--how on Earth does RRod get put out there all alone to announce these things? Where's the lady who said at the beginning of the year she'd rather work for Obama? Can't put your face and name out there when it comes time to cut service?

    Look it: selling naming rights, yes, gets some money. Repealing senior free rides? yes, gets some money. Did you know Blago later snuck in free rides for persons with disabilities? Yes he did last Summer, doesn't get as much press, but it's real. yes, gets some money.

    Still, MK is right, the bus system is bloated. There are services to be cut without sacrificing too much. But: There has to be a conversation with the Transit Union. Why in this environment do they still get COLA raises when everyone else is either laid off or on furlough? Why does a riders get less service without at LEAST a pay freeze. RRod and Mr. Daley (and I guess Ms. Brown, wherever she is) need to answer this.

    This strategy should have started months ago, but now that it began, let's see what kind of leadership Mr. Daley has put in place at CTA.

  • "Virtually nobody uses cash anymore on buses. I believe it is around 5% of bus users. So that would have virtually no effect (and may even cause less revenue if the increase repels enough of those riders, who I assume are mostly occaional riders and therefore the most elastic)."

    5% is not much, but it is still significant.

    Since there are not that many users that pay with cash, this shouldn't be that big of a deal to implement then. This will help push riders to Chicago Cards. In turn, this tends to have a benefit for the CTA in that people with Chicago Cards use the system more, which means more revenue.

    In addition to this, counting/collecting this cash revenue is very expensive according to the CTA. Eliminating more of this cost will be beneficial. You are potentially right in that casual users might choose not to pay with cash and use another option, but this will be offset by the higher fare of other riders.

    This will also speed up service for other customers who will benefit by having a higher satisfaction level.

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